DuPont Corian had a booth that was inundated with designers whose curiosity and imagination were piqued by what the surface could be used on, which runs the gamut of anything from watches to flooring. Being at an event such as this gave me a good idea of how to appeal to this type of designer and what to prepare my staff for in the future.
I even had the opportunity to interview one such designer — Demet Billici — who was commissioned by DuPont for its 40th anniversary of the Corian event. Her design was called the Manager's Table, and she is recognized as a leader in the industry with regard to solid surface design.
I asked her as a designer what parts of solid surface appealed to her and here is what she had to say about it.
"First of all, the material, especially Corian, has an emotional impact on the user," she explained. "It has a silky look but is hard when touched and this irony excites me. Also, it is like dough to shape. You are free to give it almost any form — you can thermoform it like plastic and then chip it like stone."
I also asked her about the
colors of solid surface and the impact they have when designing.
"Most of the materials need to be painted as a final process for the product to be presented on the market, and there is always a chance that you might not get the true color you wish, so you make many trials," responded Billici. "But with solid surfaces, you know your choices from the start. Besides, the wide variety of colors and textures, be it like granite or marble, trendy or old-fashioned, provide the designer with a chance to use solid surfaces in many different purposes and areas."
Finally, I asked Billici where she sees solid surface headed with regard to the design world, and she had some good insight to pass on.
"I think the designers are beginning to realize the value solid surface brings to their works," she explained. "At first it was seen as an expensive equivalent to plastics or granite, but slowly it gained its real value. It has a high-class look in terms of plastic, and it is much more easily manufactured than granite or other stones. So I see solid surfaces as rising stars shining in the design world of tomorrow."
40 Years Young
Solid surface has been around for 40 years and we are still discovering its potential. What about you? Are you ready for the "next" great surface? As a fabricator are you ready to bring designers ideas to the next level? And are the guys in your shop ready to move past flat design when there are so many options available.